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Archive for February, 2012

Okay, so I’ve got a new mini-comic in the works. And by mini, I mean 24ish pages. Because it’s handmade and printed out on my very own printer, I feel compelled to still call it a mini-comic. Is there another term for indie/handmade? Is the term “mini comic” still around, or is that just something the old folks say?

I’ve been mulling around about this new idea for a while now, but I figure if I announce it HERE, then I have to do it by when I say I’ll do it. Peer pressuring myself into action! So here goes.

My next self-published comic will be called ….. GO FOR THE EYES!

Along the same vein as Boobage and When I Was A Mall Model, the new book will be a mixture of autobiographical anecdotes and musings on a particular topic. This time around, I’m going to be talking about my experiences with self-defense, violence, and some opinions on how women in action roles are depicted in the media. All squished into 24 pages! I plan on debuting this fine li’l book at Stumptown in the end of April.

I’ve wanted to talk about this topic for a while, so at first it was really difficult narrowing down what I wanted to say and how to say it. Autobiographical comics tend to be difficult for me, because I always wonder if I should have some sort of message at the end. Like, what’s the point of documenting these experiences? Am I going to drag people along through pages of personal memories just to leave them with a “whelp, thanks for hanging out in my mind for a while. Peace!” Or should I have some sort of point I’m trying to argue, and include all my anecdotes as evidence of that point?

I’m still figuring this stuff out, but for me, I think the main drive has always been just to share experiences/thoughts and hope that someone else out there is not only interested in hearing about them, but maybe identifying with them too.

Anyway. I’ll start posting preview pages of the new comic soon, so keep on the lookout! If I don’t stick to my guns, you guys are gonna have to come harangue me. (are people still haranguing these days?)

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True confession: I graduated from college TEN YEARS AGO! *gasp*

I know, I know, it hit me hard recently too. But you know what’s super awesome about the college I graduated from? (University of Maryland Baltimore County, home of a pretty killer chess team)  They have a fun, super informative magazine with a great design sense that keeps tabs on students young and *ahem* old. And recently, they honored me by asking me to be a part of their Class Notes section!

For my piece, I decided to condense 10 years of my life in comics into a 2-page memoir. Enjoy! (if you click on it, it’ll be at least a little bit more readable)

 

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Calendar Day!

Since my boyfriend is off enjoying sun and food and wine festivals this weekend, and I’m holed up in windy Baltimore with a cold, I decided this would be GET MY SHIT TOGETHER weekend. Y’know, when all the stuff gets done. Easy, right?

I think the first step is to attack the dreaded calendar.

 

A little while ago, I turned one of the walls in my office into a chalkboard and measured out each day over a calendar year. I love seeing an entire year before me so I can figure out what’s coming up, what to prepare for, etc. The only problem I found with this chalkboard calendar plan was that I couldn’t really write that much in each space. My chalk is run of the mill grade school chalk, so it’s pretty blunt and big and couldn’t fit much information in for each day. I tried post-its, but the only one that stayed stuck for longer than 10 minutes was this one:

 

My dentist appointment reminder sticker. That’s not cool.

So I think (sadly) it might be time to take down the ol’ Calendar Wall and fill out some good ol’ fashioned paper calendar with all my conventions, projects, ideas, and plans of attack for the year. Now I’ve just got to think of something cool to do with this new chalk wall – if only I was as skilled at GORGEOUS chalkboard art like Mary Laurel Burt!

 

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I was thrilled to get to submit a piece to SCARCE this year – the ubercool French comic anthology! Here’s how I squished six chapters of my webcomic Gods & Undergrads into a one page summation  . . .

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Lady Bones

Lately I’ve been poring through old seasons of Bones episodes on Netflix, catching up on the series I’ve only caught glimpses of in the past. Even though we always end up watching during dinner (ooky) and it’s fairly formulaic, I’m finding a deep love for all the female characters on the show. Of course, I love the guys of the show too – Seeley Booth with his structured shoulders and unwavering sense of loyalty, Hodgins and love for all things conspiracy, Zack and his endearing quest for real friendship, despite what his brain wants (even though his character has since taken a turn for the worse – sigh).  I’m not loving Sweets yet, you’ll have to give me some time with him.

How could I NOT include this photo of these two??

Since I’m just working my way through season 4 right now, everything I write after this could be nullified in later seasons (please no spoilers posted here!), but I’m pretty impressed with how they’ve handled Bones, Angela, and Cam so far. Angela especially – this has to be the first time I’ve ever seen a female character allowed to explore her sexuality onscreen. Buffy’s Willow did some groundbreaking in this area, but she was strictly regulated to the straight camp with Oz, and then the gay camp with Tara, but not allowed to waffle inbetween.

On Bones, Angela is allowed relationships that only last 3 weeks out of every year and promise sex and adventure in an artist’s retreat. She can get married to a hulking, beautiful man who builds her a house on an island, only to sober up and later get a divorce. She falls for Hodgins and they play with new relationship sex, engagement, etc. And best yet, she’s now (where I am in the series, at any rate) allowed to reconnect with an old girlfriend of hers from college. None of the other characters judge her, or give her any grief for shacking up with a lady. Even the lesbian “wink wink” comments are kept to a minimum. Even though they keep knocking you over the head with the fact that ANGELA IS A FREE SPIRIT, I appreciate her character development nonetheless.

 

 

Bones (or Dr. Temperance Brennan) is a great character that is rarely seen – the logical, brainy female who is still allowed to have a sex life and remains unashamed of her sexuality. She’s not cold and wound up and just waiting for a man to release all of her sexual tension – instead she’s fully embraced all the “human” aspects of her own behavior and preferences. I did get a little worried one episode when Bones was juggling two guys and having a great time – and then her partner Booth and therapist Dr. Sweets came down on her, like her behavior was somehow inappropriate.

 

 

Unfortunately, Cam hasn’t gotten a lot of airplay yet but I can’t wait to see more of her. She’s initially presented as a tough bitch who needs to immediately assert her dominance over the group, combining particular skills of ex-cop with her extensive knowledge of dead bodies. Luckily, any hint of her and Bones competing for female dominance of the lab has been tossed aside and Cam’s separated herself as just as brainy and beautiful as the rest of them, just slightly more professional and funny. I’m hoping they’ll make more use of her in the show, since currently all I know about her is she likes hockey, loves fashion, and has no problem scoring dates.

In light of viewing the Bechdel test for this year’s Oscar movies, I thought it was a great time to stop and celebrate some killer female leads I’m seeing pop up on TV.

 

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Watery Tarts

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A sultry mermaid print for today!

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That Tina Fey line perfectly captures my mood while I’m at work. When guys are rushing past me in the parking lot to get into the building in the morning or impatiently hovering behind me while I’m walking down the stairs. (These are the same guys who, while wearing comfortable tennis shoes, insist on taking the elevator up a floor.) I feel like this when I have to run errands after work – clomp through the pet store carrying the heavy litter, navigate my way in the aisles of the grocery store, pump gas and clean my windows. What I love about heels I also hate – they make everything more of a statement, and it’s impossible to be subtle or quick and efficient in them.

Last summer, while I was in the middle of a meeting, we had an earthquake. Other states/people made fun of us after the fact, because apparently it was a wee baby earthquake, but since we’d never had one of that magnitude before, it was a big deal to us locals. I was taking notes and clicking slides while the important people were talking. All of a sudden everyone’s chairs started rolling about uncontrollably and the projector started swaying dangerously from the ceiling. Everyone was like, “Is this an earthquake?” “Does anybody feel that?” while we were still in the middle of it. I calmly logged out of the computer I was using and got my coffee cup. Of course, I was wearing heels.

Since I’ve never considered having to move about suddenly in an emergency situation, I don’t plan my outfits very well. Sure, I can totally walk/run/jump over dead bodies in heels, if I have to. It just struck me in that moment of shaky-shakiness where no one knew what was going on (because we just don’t HAVE earthquakes here) that this might be something I should prepare for in the future. I considered this as I watched one member of the meeting immediately jump up to claim possession of the doorframe (which I’ve since been told will “cut you in half”), as people contemplated hiding under a desk (“you’d be crushed”), as I crowded with others down the stairs (“which will chop you up”), and nervously looked at the WORST, most unnecessary artwork ever – a giant stone sculpture suspended over the entrance to the building.

I’ve always viewed my day job as temporary and I’ve always tried to separate myself from it. Comics and design are what I love, what I get excited about, what I think of myself doing out here in the world. But every morning I still get back in to my car for the long commute and clomp back into the building, heels echoing off the hallways, to start another day at work.

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